Bad Tenants-Illegal Eviction

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    Bad Tenants-Illegal Eviction

    Hi, I have a flat that I have let to a single male on 6 month AST, I went back to the property after a couple of months as the rent was not being paid, I found 4 other persons and a child living in there and the only communication I had from the tenant was that he had gone to America.
    The people in the flat left immediately taking all their belongings and handing me 4 sets of keys, it transpired that he had rented the flat to these people and was gaining double the rent he wasn't paying!!
    I got statements from the people in the flat saying the tenant had told them that he was landlord and would be giving them all tenancies and that he had not resided at the property whatsoever.
    I also found water damage which the council had been trying to gain access to fix and a lot of illegal i.d and stolen bank cards.
    I changed the locks and secured the property, on his return from America the tenant has cried illegal eviction and council are threatening to sue me.
    I have evidence of illegal activity right from the word go, including in obtaining the tenancy but I haven't got the court order, although I did serve notice, sec 8 most grounds, it appears to be illegal eviction.
    Has anyone else had the same and can anyone tell me of the outcomes/prospects at court if the council pursue?
    Thanks

    #2
    Give the council the crime number, and a copy of your statement.
    It may sway them from pursuing.

    Apply for the sec 8 possession order now, not later.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by shirleyridd View Post
      I haven't got the court order, although I did serve notice, sec 8 most grounds, it appears to be illegal eviction.
      Has anyone else had the same and can anyone tell me of the outcomes/prospects at court if the council pursue?
      If tried in a Magistrates Court the maximum fine is £5,000, and/or a six month prison sentence. For more serious cases tried in the Crown Court, there's an unlimited fine and/or up to two years in prison. The tenant can also bring a civil claim for damages, which may run into several tens of thousands of pounds.

      If you haven't re-let the property, immediately give keys to the tenant, and, assuming the s.8 notice period has expired (or you used ground 14) apply for possession via the court.

      Comment


        #4
        As unfair as it may seem to you the law appears to back T even if T commits crime and damage.

        Do you know how soon the sub-letting began after the commencement date of the tenancy?

        Have you reported the matter to the police yet?

        Do you have the details of the sub-tenants?

        Do you know who was paying their rent?

        Have you retained all the identity cards and documents you found at the property?

        If you can show that your original T was planning to sub-let prior to the TA starting this may help you?

        What other information do you have, or can you gather?

        pm
        Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

        Comment


          #5
          This is not to undermine what others have said, but if this turns into a claim for illegal eviction you may be able to claim that the tenancy was a "bare contractual tenancy" as the tenant wasn't living there.

          Forgetting the Housing Act for a moment, what rules in the tenancy agreement has he broken, and what grounds are cited in the tenancy agreement that can bring the tenancy to an end?

          Comment


            #6
            Hi and thanks everyone, I am on here on behalf of my Mother so I'll try and put in in order as you asked, currently the council have "Invited" mother to a tape recorded interview......

            1: Sub letting began right away, he never moved in and we have a statement from his tenants to this effect and copies of his instructions to pay rent to his account while he sunned it up in USA.
            2: Yes, reported to police, civil matter so no action but logged.
            3: Yes, we know who the sub tenants are.
            4: We're almost certain they paid their own rent as they worked, no indication of H.B.
            5: No, was afraid of being accused of theft or something else, photographed stolen credit cards etc and informed police......

            We can show he intended to sublet and hopefully because of that, that he gained tenancy on false pretense.

            After he was caught out he told his tenants not to worry because when he gets back he will be giving them tenancies, they told him they are going to beat him up........

            Non payment of rent, council tax, water etc, fire damage in the garden, water damage in the flat, multiple neighbor complaints to council.

            I haven't read the agreement myself yet but I am certain its a standard AST, at the time of eviction he has broken almost every ground in Sec 8 and now that includes at least 2 months rent.

            Being aware that no sub letting is an unfair tenancy term, he has invalidated insurance in several ways, prominently in over crowding and the general clauses of "not to do or permit to be done anything which......etc", pretty much everything really.

            I wish I was able to be more clear on that but haven't seen the tenancy myself.

            What we are hoping is that he is so bad that the council will think twice before dragging it to court and if they do, his sole defense is that mother didn't get an order, that's really about all he has, she would have undoubtedly got an order and hope judge see's it for what it is.

            Well, thanks again everyone for your help.

            Comment


              #7
              Despite everything you say, if it is decided by the court that it was an AST then the only legal way to evict people is with a court order. Anything else, by definition, is illegal eviction.

              That they obtained the tenancy by deception isn't grounds to illegally evict them, neither are any of the other section 8 grounds. They only become grounds for eviction once a judge makes that decision.

              You need to investigate what the tenancy agreement says about the penalties for breaching the tenancy terms, and what it's terms are for ending the tenancy by the landlord. If you can prove that the tenancy is NOT an AST (which it isn't anymore - s1 1988 Housing Act) then it is a bare contractual tenancy. In which case, the only terms that apply are those specified in the contract - so long as they don't contravene the Protection from Eviction Act.

              Comment


                #8
                What was a "civil matter"? I think you were asked about the illegal bank cards and stolen I.D.
                Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                Comment


                  #9
                  I am aware of the potential penalties for unlawful eviction and I cannot find any reference to suitable legislation that might deal with a T who lies to obtain a tenancy agreement. In this case your T who it appears already has sub-letting in mind and arranged.

                  What reference checks were done, did you use a letting agent?

                  However, your OP states that you returned to look at why there was no rent being paid, can you say when the T started and when no rent was paid, be specific with the dates as this may help others here to help you?

                  I would be looking at every possible way in which I could deal with your T, so I would be reporting his income from the sub-letting to HMRC so that they might look into making sure he does not omit his income tax payments. Would not want him to get into trouble.

                  I would also ensure that the council know that he was rsponsible for the lettings and that there was no single occupancy rate reduction so that they might ensure he does not accidentally overlook his obligations to them.

                  Did the sub-tenants have contracts with him? Did they give him deposits?

                  I think the more you can stack up against this chap, the better it may be for you and your mother. So tell the utility companies all you can so they can get any money due.

                  good luck.

                  pm
                  Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Look at post number 9 in the following thread "Tenant Subletting without consent and not living in property", also in residential letting questions. Maybe you could ask Jeffrey for his view on this as it appears that your case and that case may be similar?

                    pm
                    Before acting on forum advice, you may wish to consult an expert, someone who has all the relevant facts, and who accepts liability for their advice.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by shirleyridd View Post
                      What we are hoping is that he is so bad that the council will think twice before dragging it to court and if they do, his sole defense is that mother didn't get an order, that's really about all he has, she would have undoubtedly got an order and hope judge see's it for what it is.
                      Whilst it is possible the council won't pursue a prosection, if they do, it would be your mother being prosecuted, and your mother who would need a defence, not the tenant.

                      And saying you would have got a possession order if you'd applied for one isn't really much of a defence to an allegation of illegal eviction, I'm afraid. No matter how 'bad' the tenant is, it doesn't entitle a landlord to evict without a court order/bailiff unless the tenancy is excluded under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

                      Your mother needs to take this very seriously, and to seek legal advice before the recorded interview. Hoping for the best could well be a very very expensive mistake.

                      Comment

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